OK, while that’s not exactly how Randy Levine (above) described the director of the 1976 Academy Award winner “Harlan County, USA”, the Bombers president expressed considerable misgivings about Barbara Kopple’s upcoming “The House Of Steinbrenner”, airing later this month as part of ESPN’s “30 On 30” series. From the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman :
“It was very disappointing to watch the film. She had unbelievable access to the Yankees. She had great access to Hal (Steinbrenner). The interview with him was exceptional,” Levine said. “The rest of the film was the usual news at 6. It was a disjointed effort. I’m not sure where she was trying to go with the story.
“As somebody who is an admirer of hers, I just think she swung and missed at this one.”
Kopple said Levine did discuss “The House of Steinbrenner” with her after watching it at her office.
“I’m sad Randy Levine feels this way,” Kopple said Wednesday. “I feel when people see this film they won’t quite understand what he’s talking about.”
Kopple said her film projects love – love of the Yankees.
“You see a lot of it through the fans and their excitement and their passion for the team,” Kopple said. “You see it in the pilgrimages the people make to (the old) Yankee Stadium on the final day.”
Levine insisted he was just putting on his critic hat and not speaking for the organization. Does he also see himself as caretaker of The Boss’ image and the Yankees brand? Did this make him more sensitive to Kopple’s effort?
“No, absolutely not,” he said. “I don’t mind people’s opinions whether they are critical or not critical. I just thought from a great filmmaker it would say something.”